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Rock Star University Delivers the Decibels with Harmans

29 July 2013

Santa Rosa’s Rock Star University teaches students how to play like the pros. The ‘House of Rock’ offers instruction in guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, vocals and stage performance. Located in an 8,000 sq ft music and media production building, the school is equipped with a 1,000 sq ft stage complete with stacks of amplifiers, drums, audio and video recording facilities and a complete pro audio system including JBL Vertec line array loudspeakers, Crown I-Tech HD Series amplifiers, a Soundcraft Vi1 mixing console and AKG microphones.

Rock Star University was built from the ground up. The owners purchased a warehouse, gutted it and converted it into a combination performance venue, music teaching school and rehearsal studio. The 350-seat performance area features a full stage with concert-quality lighting, video backline and sound. The audio and video system was installed by systems integrator Sound Expressions of Santa Rosa under the direction of Greg Adams.

Sound Expressions was one of the first systems contractors to ever install the Vertec VT4886 line arrays in the US and chose the VT4886 subcompact line array element for Rock Star University, “For this space it was a home run out of the box,” said Greg. “We needed a low-profile line array system because of the low ceilings in the performance space and I knew the VT4886 would be perfect for it.” Adams and his team hung five JBL VT4886 loudspeakers on each side of the stage, with low-frequency reinforcement provided by one JBL SRX728 subwoofer per side. The system also features four JBL SRX712M stage monitors.

PA system amplification is courtesy of Crown I-Tech 12000HD power amplifiers. “The I-Tech HD’s have tonnes of power and tonnes of headroom,” Greg noted. They’re really clean even when pushed hard and the sound tailoring and system tuning capabilities offered by their onboard DSP is unparalleled.”

A Soundcraft Vi1 digital live sound console was chosen for its combination of small footprint yet large channel count, ease of use and flexibility. Rock Star University puts a big emphasis on recording its students’ performances so the students can listen to and learn from them, and the Vi1 is equipped with a MADI card that outputs multitrack digital audio from the console into a ProTools rig.

Rounding out the system is a complement of AKG vocal and instrument microphones. The drum kit is miked using D40 dynamic mics on the snare and tom toms, a C214 large-diaphragm condenser overhead mic and a C451 B condenser on the hi-hat. Several D5 handheld vocal mics are on hand and the guitar amplifiers are miked with Perception 120 condensers. CM311 and 520L headworn mics are available for drummers who sing and WMS 470 wireless systems are used with electric guitars. In addition, three IVM4500 wireless in-ear monitoring systems are available for vocalists.

“Students who attend Rock Star University aren’t just going to some glorified rehearsal studio-thanks to the Harman Professional audio system and the same staging and lighting you’d find in a real music venue, the students are getting a complete learning experience that’ll have them ready to rock wherever they play,” Greg concluded.





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